In New England (United States) climate change models forecast increasingly intense, frequent floods. Communities in this region are already experiencing these changes, along with the negative consequences associated with them, such as inundation, erosion, natural habitat destruction, and property damage. As it is in many places around the world, agriculture in New England is often in floodplains, which means that farmers are at greater risk due to where they farm. These farmers are already adapting to the increased risk of flooding; however, some of their actions may affect communities downstream, both human and ecological. This case study examines the competing perspectives of farmers and other community stakeholders in New England as farmers work to adapt to increasing flood impacts. Our premise is that, considering the intensified pressures of climate change on agriculture near rivers and streams, we must find ways to allow farmers to adapt to protect their farms and downstream communities.
Warner, Benjamin P.; Schattman, Rachel E.; Hatch, Christine E. 2017. Farming the Floodplain: Ecological and Agricultural Tradeoffs and Opportunities in River and Stream Governance in New England's Changing Climate. Case Studies in the Environment. 1(1): 1.18. 9 p. https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2017.sc.512407.